The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Interview: Brisbane local, Sally Bagshaw — April 9, 2012

Interview: Brisbane local, Sally Bagshaw

Our Brisbane editor Lani Pauli says Sally Bagshaw, Brisbane-based copywriter and content strategist, is one of the first people she noticed actively talking about “content strategy” before it was hip. We sat down to talk to Sally about her niche in content strategy and what it all means.

Website: www.snappysentences.com and www.webcontentstrategy.com.au

Where does your passion for content strategy come from and what keeps it going?
I’m passionate about content strategy because it treats content as a business asset, not just pretty words on a web page. It aligns everything you do regarding content—from its planning, to its development, management and maintenance—to the overall goals of the business. In a world where we are all publishers, good content strategy is a way to stay focused and put your energy into the right areas. I also like that it shines a light on the business processes and technology needed to do these great things with content.

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?
That’s a tough one, there are cool things happening in different areas. Some people are doing great things with technology, some with voice and messaging, and some with cross channel content. Online retailers are often ahead of the game with content, especially as it’s easy to measure the ROI for great content (more sales).

What was your first job?
My first ever job was at the Eumundi newsagency on Saturday mornings for the markets. The early starts were hard, but it was a fun place to work and it taught me to count change very quickly!

What’s the biggest misconception about content strategy?
The biggest misconception is content strategy is content marketing. Content strategy is broader and can go across many traditional silos like IT and marketing. That said, content strategy isn’t only for big business. Smaller businesses can be smart with content too; it doesn’t have to be complex.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for content strategy to be more consistently employed by businesses?
Even though content strategy has a higher profile than it used to, it still can be a hard sell to senior executives who are used to thinking of content as an operational (rather than strategic) part of the business. The big opportunity is the way technology is evolving so quickly, it’s not realistic to keep repurposing content for all of these different platforms anymore. It’s causing a shift to smarter thinking around content.

What’s next?
I’m starting a meetup group to bring together all Brisbanites interested in content strategy. The first catch up is planned for early June and will be a debrief about Confab – a content strategy conference that I’m going to in Minneapolis. I’ll announce further details soon on Twitter via @ContentBNE and the Brisbane Content Strategy Group meetup page.

You can follow Sally on Twitter here.

Interview: Brisbane Local, Alischa Herrmann — March 25, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, Alischa Herrmann

Brisbane curator Lani Pauli sat down to talk with Bespoke Letterpress Director Alischa Herrman.

Name: Alischa Herrman // Bespoke Letterpress
Website: Bespoke Letterpress + Blog

You can follow Bespoke on Twitter here.

Where does your passion for letterpressing come from and what keeps it going?
A deep love for this beautiful craftsmanship – letterpress is a labour of love – it is always hard challenging work, but that keeps the passion alive! The end result of perfectly printed typography with a beautiful deep letterpress impression into 100% cotton stock has got to be the truly most beautiful way to print the written word. We print on three vintage printing presses weighing from 800 kilos to 1.5 tonne and our oldest is Charlie who was built in 1893, and we’ve also got Herbie and Helga who are 1972 and 1973 Heidelberg Platens. They are beautiful old beasts who with alot of love have been restored and bought back to life again!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?
There are so many people! Here in Brisbane I am a big fan of poet and potter Paper Boat Press, illustrator Courtney Brims, reading Map Magazine, gorgeous stationery Loose Leaf Paper and great fashion Style Milk.

What was your first job?
Im not sure if it is technically a job, but in primary school I used to make friendship bracellents and hair clips to sell to friends at school! Other then that my first job in my teenage years was in a library and my first design job was in a small boutique design studio.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?
Learning that to run a successful business that I can’t do everything, and that burning the candle from all ends always ends in tears!

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?
Brisbane has grown in so many ways to foster and encourage the design community over the past few years. I think their is an opportunity to encourage more designers by opening up more design precincts and converting old buildings into assessable and affordable studios. That would give more emerging designers the chance to move their design ideas out of their bedrooms and homes and have a platform to grow their businesses.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?
Brisbane Finders Keepers July 7th and 8th at the Old Museum Building.

What’s next?
We are currently working on expanding our range of ready to buy stationery to compliment our custom design work. Many of these letterpress goodies can now be found around the country and various design boutiques as well as our own online store.

Interview: Brisbane Local, Natalie McComas — March 11, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, Natalie McComas

Brisbane curator Lani Pauli interviews Natalie McComas, photographer and freelance documentary maker.

Website: www.natmccomas.com

Works at: Nat McComas Photography er

What has been your favourite photography job?
To choose a favourite would be too hard! I loved photographing a wedding on the Fiji Islands and also a wedding at the beautiful Deux Bellettes in NSW. I loved doing a documentary commission for the Museum of Sydney – travelling around taking portraits of people and their pets. I love whenever I get to tell stories in pictures.

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in the creative industries?

Nine Lives Gallery in Brisbane, Comb Gallery at Tugun, Brisbane artist and poet Kylie Johnson, Bespoke Letterpress.

What was your first job?
My first photography job was a commission to take portraits at a young mothers group in Albion.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?
Maintaining a healthy work and life balance. I love photographing so much that sometimes I forget I have other passions too.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?
I think we need more international photography & artist exhibitions when they are on tour. We seem to get skipped as most are hosted in Sydney and Melbourne.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?
I’m looking forward to seeing the Josephine Ulrick photography exhibition at the Gold Coast at the end of March. ‘Boys with guns’ by Prudence Murphy at the Queensland Centre for Photography, South Bank. Pecha Kucha Brisbane in May and The Finders Keepers Markets in July.

What’s next?
I am hoping to set up an online store to sell a few of my travelling photos and I am working on a series of portraits this year of people with significant birthmarks. Patience from The Grates was the inspiration for the series after we chatted about her growing up with such a significant birthmark and we will be working together on this with the aim of inspiring people to be confident in their own skin and to know that what they have is unique and beautiful. If you would like to be involved or know of someone, contact me through my website.
You can follow Natalie on Twitter here.
Interview: Brisbane Local, Amy Saunders — February 26, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, Amy Saunders

Brisbane curator Lani Pauli interviews Amy Saunders, founder of upcoming event UR{BNE} and landscape architect.

Tell us more about how UR{BNE} came to be?
A group of us started a collective called UR{BNE} which was a group of people interested in, or already doing, creative things in public, urban spaces in Brisbane. As a group we would support each other’s ideas and try to help each other out by helping develop ideas and networking.

Yen, an active member of the collective, brought along the idea of a creating a festival about urban design, public spaces and Brisbane. So as a collective we have been developing the UR{BNE} Festival which is about creating greater public involvement, dreaming ideas for a better Brisbane, assisting with the understanding of how urban places are designed, building pride and interest in Brisbane’s places and generally livening up our city.

We imagine that the creative contributions may include outdoor public art, public theatre, public musical acts, dinner in public spaces, walking tours, bicycle tours, design and build activities, exhibitions, design book launches, public art tours, talks in or about public spaces, community story telling, iPhone apps, community projects, public space drawing and anything else creative that is about public space, urban design and Brisbane’s community.

People can contribute their ideas on our website and come along to our Ideas Café on 1 March to help develop their ideas and make them a reality!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?
IDEO are doing some very interesting work with their human-centred design approach on IDEO.org and their participatory design methods on openIDEO.com . In Australia, Co Design Studio are also doing some great human-centred collaborative design!

A local, David Engwicht, has always been a hero of mine. He is taking his innovative Place Making ideas and teaching others in his upcoming workshops.

Arthouse Co-op are doing some very interesting things with their Sketchbook project and their other projects open for public participation.

I’m a big fan of the Rebar collective in San Francisco. Their PARK(ing) Day concept (which myself and some others promote in Brisbane), started my interest in participatory design to revitalise and personalise our city.

What was your first job?
Selling snags at the Burrum Heads Amateur Fishing Easter Classic (I was paid in sausages). My first job in design was at EDAW (now AECOM).

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?
Reality. The reality of the development industry. I guess I deal with this by flexing my creative muscles outside paid work – so I feel like I have balance in my life.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?
A great challenge in Brisbane is for every individual is to get past the perception that the creativity of our city is someone else’s responsibility, that it’s the council’s, or an arts group’s responsibility. Every person in our city can and should contribute to our city in their own creative way. It could be as simple as wearing a crazy hat, or participating in the Red Swing Project and tying a swing to a tree in a park.

We need to empower our citizens to feel as though they can contribute creatively to our city (this is one of our aims for PARK(ing) Day and UR{BNE}).

Another challenge is respect. Respect for all generations, people of different cultures and different backgrounds and celebrating their creative contribution to our city.

We have a great opportunity in that we are a friendly city, with a beautiful subtropical climate and we should be very proud and want to “show off” our creativity to the world!

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?
The UR{BNE} Ideas Café on 1st March
Lazy Sunday Cycle on 11th March
Asia Pacific Design Library Lecture Series 2012 from 13th March to 29th May

What’s next?
I’m looking at organising Diner en Blanc for Brisbane, as the closing ceremony of UR{BNE}! Very exciting!

You can follow Amy on Twitter here.

Interview: Brisbane Local, Beck Waite — February 12, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, Beck Waite

Brisbane curator Lani Pauli interviews Beck Waite from The Edge, SLQ.

Tell us more about how you ended up at The Edge…
In truth I was aiming for GoMA… but towards the end of my time at uni I was offered a six week, part time gig with State Library doing some project support work for a new digital culture centre they were launching. At this stage the building was still a construction site and the team that would open the doors was still to be hired. Even so, the vision that State Library held for this space was compelling and the six weeks turned into three months, which turned into six months and suddenly I had forgotten about my original intentions and found myself happily working at The Edge!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

There is no end to the cool stuff that is happening in our industries. For me, working a lot with creativity in the context of public institutions, I get excited about projects like Fayetteville Free Library’s maker space (a concept that we are working on for The Edge), which turns a place of learning into a place of creating. I love it when people decide to use digital for good and not evil, like the Code Year project that is running in 2012 and I love that creativity can be used as an excuse to hang algae from the ceilings!

What was your first job?

Cleaning schools. I used to get up of a morning and work out creative ways to get PVA glue out of carpets, permanent marker off whiteboards and that rotten apple smell out of bag racks. I learnt how to make windows shiny and streak free, I learnt how to manoeuvre four scrap-filled wheelie bins up and down hills in tandem and I learned that if I started work at 4am I could cram a lot more into my day!

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?

Learning the language of nerd. Each quarter we change our theme at The Edge, from Gaming, to DIY Tech and Bioscience. These were unchartered territory for me. Languages like Python, C+ and Processing weren’t on my radar, I didn’t know to get excited when a RepRap turned up on our desk and if you had of asked me if ‘Arduino’ was a proper noun I would have looked at you in confusion. Nowdays, I still spend a lot of time confused, but I love talking to those people that know this stuff inside out and enjoy the process of getting my head around it too.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?

The biggest challenge and opportunity are one and the same for me: learning to recognise and celebrate creativity outside of traditional ‘creative industries’. It is very easy to confine a discussion of Brisbane as a creative city by focusing on our ability to be entrepreneurial in business or push the boundaries in the arts. But I think that a truly exciting, creative city is one that applauds innovative and progressive practice across all sectors, from health and science right through to the likes of education, agriculture, transport and mining.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?

The Edge’s second birthday bash – 50 free workshops in 5 hours! The Seven w/ Another exhibition upcoming at Josephmark, and a fun exhibition, Goodbye Helvetica by Dominique Falla.

What’s next?

For me? I delight in not knowing! I’ve always enjoyed taking life as it comes and having the freedom to go where the opportunities take me.

You can follow Beck on Twitter here.

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